* No Q1 revenue forecast, planning internally for $7 bln
* Q1 Street rev view $7.2 bln
* Q4 EPS 4 cents, versus Street view 4 cents
* Shares up 1.7 percent
(Adds analysts' comments)
By Gabriel Madway
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 15 Intel Corp (INTC.O)
refrained from giving detailed financial forecasts for the
current quarter, citing economic uncertainty, but the chip
maker gave an internal planning figure for revenue at the low
end of expectations.
Shares of Intel, the biggest maker of microprocessors that
are the brains of personal computers, gained about 1.7 percent
in after-hours trading as analysts said the announcement was
not as bad as some had feared following two revenue warnings in
the past few months.
Intel said it was not providing a revenue outlook for the
first quarter, but "for internal purposes, the company is
currently planning for revenue in the vicinity of $7 billion."
Analysts on average had been looking for revenue of $7.2
billion in the quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.
Intel also warned that gross margins will slip into the low
40s percentage because of start-up and underutilization
"Obviously there's a lot of uncertainty there now,"
Morningstar analyst Andy Ng said.
"It definitely doesn't provide comfort, but the thing to
keep in mind is: this is a very cyclical industry, and it's
seen its fair share of downturns and upturns."
The technology bellwether reported fourth-quarter results
that were in line with lowered analyst estimates following a
revenue warning last week, its second for the December quarter.
Profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 27 fell to $234
million, or 4 cents a share, from $2.27 billion, or 38 cents a
share, in the year-ago period, Intel said. That matched Wall
Street's forecast of 4 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue fell to $8.2 billion from $10.7 billion over the
"They were playing it cautious by not officially providing
guidance," said Edwin Mok, an analyst at Needham. "The big
surprise was gross margins, which they guided for the low 40s.
I'm concerned that the company is not letting up on its
start-up investments in the face of the economic slowdown."
Intel is the world's biggest maker of central processing
units (CPUs) and its revenue warnings have touched off alarm
bells across the technology sector. The company is a component
of the Dow Jones industrial average.
Intel shares rose to $13.58 in extended trading from its
close of $13.29 on Nasdaq.
(Writing by Edwin Chan; editing by Richard Chang and Tiffany